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New Imaging Vehicle Maps Coral Reefs to Determine Health of Reef and Fisheries

July 24, 2003

Deepwater coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands may occupy a much larger area and be in better health than previously thought, based on evidence gathered by a new autonomous underwater vehicle which flies through the sea like a helicopter.

New Location of Deep Convection May Exist in North Atlantic

July 16, 2003

Deep convection, or mixing, of ocean waters in the North Atlantic, widely thought to occur in only the Labrador Sea and the Mediterranean, may occur in a third location first proposed nearly 100 years ago by the explorer and oceanographer Fridtjof Nansen. The findings, reported this week in the journal Nature, may alter thinking about the ocean’s overturning circulation that affects earth’s climate.

Cruise to Top of the World Reveals New Insights into Formation of Earth’s Crust

June 26, 2003

Volcanoes on the floor of the Arctic ocean and fissures that reach directly to Earth’s mantle are findings published in today’s issue of Nature that present new ideas on the formation of Earth’s crust.

WHOI Chemist and Dean to Receive 2003 Ketchum Award

June 25, 2003

Dr. John Farrington, a chemical oceanographer who conducted pioneering research on petroleum in the marine environment and the mobility of contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in seafloor sediments, will receive the 2003 Bostwick H. Ketchum Award from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Scientists Explore New England Seamounts for Clues to Climate Change

June 5, 2003

Scientists are exploring the New England Seamounts, a chain of extinct, undersea volcanoes about 500 miles off the east coast of North America, searching for clues to climate change in deep sea corals. The public can join the expedition via the web at

Amy Bower

WHOI Scientist Honored As Blind Employee of the Year in Massachusetts

May 15, 2003

Dr. Amy Bower of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will be honored today with the Thomas J. Carroll Award for Employment as Blind Employee of the Year in Massachusetts by The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA.

WHOI Scientists Respond to Buzzards Bay Oil Spill

May 6, 2003

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists from diverse disciplines have responded to the April 27 spill of nearly 15,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Buzzards Bay, drawing on decades of experience studying the effects of oil spills on the marine and coastal environment.

Sus Honjo

WHOI Scientist Honored by Japanese Government

May 1, 2003

One of Japan’s highest honors, the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun, will be bestowed on Dr. Susumu Honjo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for his research on the transfer of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean’s interior and for his efforts to strengthen Japan’s role in the international ocean science research community. Honjo, the first oceanographer to be presented with this honor, will accept the award May 12 from Emperor Akihito in ceremonies at the Imperial Palace in Japan.

Construction Begins on WHOI’s New Coastal Vessel

April 30, 2003

With the press of a computer button and the plasma cutting of a sheet of aluminum, construction began earlier this month on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) new 60-foot coastal vessel at Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation in Somerset, MA. The $1.6 million vessel is scheduled for delivery in March 2004.

Will Ocean Fertilization To Remove Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere Work?

April 9, 2003

Reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming, by fertilizing the oceans with iron may not be as attractive a solution as once thought according to a report in Science magazine.

Kurt Polzin

WHOI Scientist To Receive Nansen Medal from European Geophysical Society

March 27, 2003

Kurt Polzin, an associate scientist in the Department of Physical Oceanography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will receive the European Geophysical Society’s Fridtjof Nansen Medal in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the measurement of mixing in the deep ocean. The award will be presented at the group’s annual meeting in Nice, France, in early April.

Century-Long Drought Linked to Collapse of Mayan Civilization

March 21, 2003

New analysis of sediment samples from the southern Caribbean indicate that severe droughts occurred at the same time as the known collapse of the Mayan civilization. In a study in the March 14 issue of the journal Science, lead author Gerald Haug of Geoforschungszentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany, together with Konrad Hughen of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and colleagues report that sediments from the Cariaco Basin in northern Venezuela clearly show a dry spell that the Caribbean region starting in the seventh century and lasting for more than 200 years.

John Hayes

WHOI Geochemist to be Honored By the American Chemical Society

March 5, 2003

Senior Scientist John Hayes of the Geology and Geophysics Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will receive the American Chemical Society’s 2003 Geochemistry Division Medal at the group’s 225th national meeting in March in New Orleans.

Rober Weller

WHOI Scientist Honored by American Meteorological Society

February 26, 2003

Robert A. Weller of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been honored by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) for his contributions to understanding the interactions between the oceans and atmosphere.

Fossil Records Show Methane in Seafloor Sediments Released During Periods of Rapid Climate Warming

February 24, 2003

Scientists have found new evidence indicating that during periods of rapid climate warming methane gas has been released periodically from the seafloor in intense eruptions. In a study published in the current issue of the journal Science, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs and colleagues Laura Hmelo and Sean Sylva of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) provide a direct link between methane reservoirs in coastal marine sediments and the global carbon cycle, an indicator of global warming and cooling.

Two WHOI Scientists Honored by Office of Naval Research

February 20, 2003

Assistant Scientists Christopher Reddy and Steven Jayne of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been honored as 2003 Young Investigators by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

WHOI Elects Trustees at Fall Meeting of the Corporation

November 8, 2002

Three new Trustees were elected at the recent Joint Meeting of the Board of Trustees and Corporation at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Peter Aron of New York, Joseph McNay of Chestnut Hill, MA, and Joseph Patton of Boston, currently serving as Members of the Institution’s Corporation, were elected Trustees during the fall meetings in October in Woods Hole.

Oil Found in Marsh Sediments 30 Years After Spill

November 7, 2002

Thirty years after approximately 175,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil spilled from the barge FLORIDA in Buzzards Bay near West Falmouth, MA, residues of the oil can still be found in salt marsh sediments, according to a report to be released November 15 by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Their findings, to appear in the journal Environmental Science and Technology published by the American Chemical Society, provide further evidence that oil persists in the marine environment for a long period of time even though the surface sediments recover quickly and appear visually healthy.

European Seal Plague May Threaten Population Survival

November 1, 2002

Scientists from G??teborg University in Sweden and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) report in an upcoming issue of the journal Ecology Letters that the 2002 outbreak of phocine distemper virus, or PDV, in European harbor seals may reduce the population by more than half and that future outbreaks with similar characteristics would significantly increase the risk of population declines. Their findings are the first epidemiological data reported on the 2002 outbreak, which is still underway, and may help predict the recurrence of the outbreaks and the impact on the long-term growth and survival of the European harbor seal population.

New Generation Deep Ocean Vehicle Begins Science Operations for U.S. Researchers

October 31, 2002

A new generation of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of routine operation to depths of 6,500 meters (21,320 feet) and communicating its data back to shore via the Internet has been developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The vehicle, JASON II, recently completed its first science cruise off the coast of Washington and Oregon and is currently at sea in the Pacific working off the coast of Hawaii.